When you want to free up some time to enjoy friends, family, or any other activity not involving in-depth hair care, a protective style is the obvious choice. Protective styles help you in that they reduce the amount of time required for day-to-day hair care as well as get your hands out of your hair which leads to the wonderful side effect of… length retention.
Some people may not look forward to protective styling as they may consider it boring or a hassle. It is more likely that they just haven’t been opting for the best protective styles to suit their particular lifestyle.
Protective styles don’t have to be boring. In fact, there are different things you can do to ensure they remain creative and fun, especially if you are someone who likes to look fresh by changing up your styles often. There are also protective styles that you can choose that are quick and simple to install.
Even if you don’t like to protective style, the truth is, if you really want to protect those ends and start seeing some good length retention you have to find a way to make protective styling work for you. Particularly during the grow-out phase of your hair journey. Once you get to your target length, of course, you can wear your hair however you like.
Protective styles are broadly divided into two categories. Short-term protective styles and long-term protective styles.
Short-term protective styles are those that allow you to reduce manipulation to your hair overall but you will generally still have to manipulate your hair regularly to restyle it and keep it looking neat. This will usually be every few days or every week.
Long-term protective styles on the other hand don’t need to be restyled often which allows you to drastically reduce manipulation to your hair as you don’t mess with your strands for weeks or months at a time. This of course leads to better long-term length retention.
Note that the manipulation that I am referring to relates to your OWN HAIR and not any added extensions* you may have attached to your hair.
With that in mind here are 10 long and short-term protective styles that look amazing and that you will actually enjoy wearing.
1. All kinds of buns – Low buns, high buns, top knot buns, or even chignons – Short-term protective style
You may think that a bun is quite basic but sometimes less is more and the simplicity of the style can benefit your hair greatly. Buns ensure that the ends of your hair are tucked away and will not be snagging or coming in contact with any abrasive fabrics you are wearing, wool being the worst culprit for snagging delicate hair strands.
The great thing about a bun is that it is super simple and can be done on natural or relaxed hair and with or without hair extensions*. A cute bun can even last a few days before you have to take it down to restyle it.
LAKISHA WILKINS says
I AM DEAF I NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH MY HAIR BRAIDING AND I PAY FOR IT BRAIDING KINKY TWIST
OK THANK YOU VERY MUCH SO BEST KINKY TWIST?
Alma Ruddock says
I dont actually know how much braids or kinky twists cost, prices vary depending on the stylist you ask. Please check with local hair salon. Good luck,
how would you wash your hair weekly if braided and how long should you keep the braids to avoid manipulation. I have short natural hair and usually braid my hair keeping the braids for a month. is that too long?
I leave mine in for two months
i dont like wearing weaves or braids if i do put them in they last for only 1-2 weeks. so what protective styles can i use with my hair and how long will they last as my hair do not keep styles for long (1 week)
I have very thin/bald edges. What protective styles do you recommend?
Alma Ruddock says
Nothing braided if you have thinning edges I’m afraid. You should only do low manipulation styles like braid outs, twist outs and loose buns until you grow your edges back. Even after that any braided styles should not be used again because clearly your hair cannot take them.
I had Lupus at one time and lost lots of hair on the crown of my head. I use to wear a wig but they seem to be taking my edges out. I have been putting my hair up and wearing a weave ponytail. What do you recommend.
Brenda Mines says
hair go natural does all natural I love it now that’s what I call good hair
Jennifer Grimes Whitticker says
I love this website!
Kimberly Miller says
Too late! It is cut!
Patricia Gillard says
I love them too I just put in mine 2 days ago. I learned how to braid and twist after I went back natural 3 years ago took me over a year to learn tho lol
Margaret Graham says
At least you learned. I can’t really braid. I tried Havana twist with Marley hair…not the greatest. But I’ll keep at it like you! Hopefully I’ll get it.
Patricia Gillard says
Takes a lot of practice and I know I’m not perfect yet but it’ll save you money also. I really hope you get it I’m sure you will! And Marley was my fave type of twist until I discovers the kinky afro hair only thing is it doesn’t come long like the Marley hair and I had to double up to make it longer to cover my hair.
Dinah Briggs says
Will be getting one of these style very soon, good post, I love the Bantu Knots.
Bernice Watson says
I bought a huge Afro wig. Do you think I can do a two strain twist style with it or just cut it down.
Diva Dealzz - Protective styles says
I like to wear that Kinky twist protective hairstyle which looks perfect on me.